I started Beardbrand in 2012 with a friend. First we created content on our blog, YouTube channel and Tumblr page. After a few months my friend moved onto new projects and I just kinda kept it going on auto-pilot. After about 10 months, I was able to convince my current co-founders to build Beardbrand from a content site to a Ecommerce business. We’re entirely bootstrapped and started with a $30 Shopify investment and have grown from there. We’re a seven figure business and still independent, profitable, and growing.
What ignited the spark in you to start a new business venture or to make significant changes in an existing business?
How did the idea for your business come about?
When I grew my first long beard I got called Grizzly Adams, Duck Dynasty, and ZZ Top and those are all cool guys, but they aren’t people I identify with. I ended up attending this event where I started to meet other individuals like me - entrepreneurs, designers, dad’s, etc and I realized there was a group of guys who didn’t fit the traditional stereotype of what it meant to have a beard. It was at that point that I wanted to unite the community and give them the tools they needed to feel comfortable about their style.
What were the biggest initial hurdles to building your business and how did you overcome them?
Well, the biggest first hurdle was building a founding team that was able to commit to the business and could work together. Before Beardbrand I had never built a successful business and needed a lot of support from my business partners. Luckily my partners, Lindsey Reinders and Jeremy McGee, are amazing people and we’ve been through thick and thin to grow the business and serve our customers.
What books are you currently reading? And your recommendation for entrepreneurs to read?
My most recent book is Rocket Fuel and I’ve enjoyed Eat People, How to Win Friends and Influence People, Traction, and 4 Hour Work Week.
Did you ever deal with contention from your family and friends concerning your entrepreneurial pursuits?
How did you handle it? What would you do differently in hindsight?
I’ve always had people who didn’t see the vision, and that’s understandable. I don’t think they were holding me back or trying to stop me from my efforts. I’ve certainly had my fair share of ideas that never got off the ground, so I can understand the doubt. Fortunately, when I want to do something, I just go and do with — whether or not people are in line.
What would you say was the single most influential factor in your business success?
Having two amazing business partners who helped lift me up when I was down and vice versa.
What do you know today that you wish you would have known when you first got started as an entrepreneur?
If I was more focused and committed to the projects and products, that were most successful. We tried a lot of things in the early days because we had a slightly different vision for our product offering than it is today. I kinda wish we just stuck with what was working and got very efficient at bringing awareness to those items.
What advice would you give to an upcoming entrepreneur locally and internationally?
So ya, if you want to be an entrepreneur but you aren’t yet; then focus on action. What is the step you need to do today to move forward. The biggest thing is action in the right direction even if it’s slow. Best wishes!